During a time of increased feminist moments, it’s natural to expect more insightful pieces of literature written by women, about women, like Edina resident Jackie Hanson’s first novel, A Place in Time.
Hanson remembers writing nearly all of her life, starting when she was only 5 years old. Writing is a powerful way to express your thoughts, opinions and even work through emotions you are experiencing. A young Hanson used it as her way to communicate and express herself since she was a shy child.
“When I look back on some of my older stories, it makes me smile as many of them really don't make sense and I wonder what I was thinking at the time,” Hanson says.
As she continued to mature, Hanson moved into more sophisticated short stories and poetry. After having her two daughters, she became a stay-at-home mom and pursued writing novels to keep her creative mind alive while she cared for her children. Novels not only challenged her more intellectually, but the reward became even larger because not only was she sharing her stories with herself but she began to pursue an audience through publication.
Above all, Hanson’s inspiration has always been centered around women and their relationships, emotions, strengths and weaknesses as they navigate their lives. All of her stories take place in the Midwest because Hanson feels that it is one aspect that is missing from available literature.
“I don't feel like there are enough novels out in the literary world that focus on Midwestern females—and, hey, we're just as interesting as the New Yorker ... maybe even more so. At least, my characters are,” Hanson says.
She fights the stereotypical idea that Midwestern women are always shy, timid, sweet women who follow the rules and never go on great adventures or find themselves in dangerous situations.
“Basically, these characters are the opposite of what most people depict Midwestern women to be,” Hanson says.
Hanson only writes about strong and independent women who are capable of taking care of themselves and determining their own lives. She portrays her female protagonists as rebels. They break rules, make mistakes, risk everything and accept that sometimes it is okay to be selfish if it means finding satisfaction.
A Place in Time shares themes of loss, love and discovering yourself. Hanson is currently working on her second novel entitled Beautiful Things. Similar to her first novel, it takes place in the Midwest, in her hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is about three sisters who have been abandoned by their parents, however the siblings’ relationship has been threatened after one sister commits an “unforgivable act.” An all female publication, She Writes Press is interested in the novel which Hanson hopes to have completed in July.